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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Fablehaven – Book 4

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
by Brandon Mull

Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary. (goodreads.com)

Three words: Holy freakin’ cow!

I will admit, I started this book and thought I wouldn’t like it at all and then WHAM! Total action and complete surprise twists and a really hilarious dragon. By the end of the book (yesterday) I had my mind made up that I was going to march right into the store today and buy the fifth and final book even though it JUST came out in hard cover (March 23). Only you know what? CANADA ISN’T CARRYING IT! Gah!

When I professed my dismay and panic on twitter today, Simon & Schuster Canada assured me that they would be carrying the paperback version and have it out early next year – which really would just be when the book would hit the shelves in pb anyhow right? Hmm. I honestly do not want to pay $24 for this book, but this one was just THAT good that I am willing to.

*deep breaths*

Ok, so about this book, without giving too much away… First, I loved it. Second, Seth didn’t irritate me at all and actually grew up a lot in this book. However his past actions have given him a reputation and so no one wanted to listen to him or let him tag along on what was going on, even though he was really helpful. A little “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” moral in there. And I have one real problem with this book which I will attempt to hide in invisible font (highlight below to see it as I don’t want to spoil anything): Kendra’s double dies and her family buries her, and yet when her Grandparents and Seth discover that she’s actually still alive not once does anyone mention the fact that her parents still think she’s dead. Not until the LAST chapter (500 pages away, people!) when they sort of say “oh, your parents still think you’re dead and it’s likely safer that way for now”. Really? REALLY? I don’t know why but the entire book the lack of acknowledgement that her parents still thought she was dead or really any mention of the parents at all bothered me SO much. Anyone else?

So, with that out of my system, I have to say I think this might be my favourite book in the entire series. It had a very Harry Potter-esque feel with the magical gadgets and ideas and quests. The dragon that befriends Kendra cracked me up and I read almost every passage of dialogue between them to my husband (I am sure he was thrilled).

If you haven’t read this series yet – do so. If you have and gave up because you can’t stand Seth – give this one a chance. He’s still foolhardy, but this time around his rash decisions are made in the best interest of the group and not just for selfish reasons. Something happens at the start  of this book that really changes his view of the world.

I don’t know if I can wait until January 2011 for the final book. I might break down and order this through amazon… but I am going to try. I was so full of energy at the end of this book and it was driving me mad that I didn’t have the next one. We’ll see how my willpower holds up.

Fablehaven Series

  1. Fablehaven
  2. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
  3. Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague
  4. Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
  5. Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison – out now in  hard cover!

    this weekend there be dragons

    I seem to be having a pretty dragon-filled weekend! I am currently reading the fourth book in the Fablehaven series, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (although I am half-way through and we haven’t gotten to the dragons yet), I have two other books that I am eagerly awaiting to come out which are also about dragons. Perhaps Dragons are this year’s vampires, werewolves and zombies? Either way I like dragons better than those other ones, so I am happy. But the coolest dragon thing that happened this weekend?

    We went to see How to Train Your Dragon on opening weekend! Yes, my friends, this is totally out of the norm for us. We hate crowded theaters and we never go to a movie on opening weekend. And to be honest we didn’t think we’d get to see this one until it came out on DVD due to the fact that it was IN 3D!!! everywhere. Except it was playing at two theaters that had one 2D version each. One of which was right near us and we still had gift certificates left so…

    We went to the first showing of the movie yesterday. I figured if we did the earliest showing, during lunch and it was 2D we might not have a completely full theatre… sure enough I was (mostly) right. We got our favourite seats (two seats over the door so no one can sit in front of us and we have a ledge to put our food on, heh) and were the first ones in the room, as we were with the last movie we saw (which was Percy Jackson & the Olympians and it was just HORRID). If there weren’t two complete middle rows reserved for a kid’s birthday party, I think there would have been about 15 of us at that particular showing of the movie. I was grumpy about the entire rows of little kids, but for the most part they kept quiet. I only had to shush them once.

    But enough about that.. what you really need to know is that this movie is fantastic! It’s funny, charming and the animation is superb! There’s this one scene near the end where the Viking chief is searching for his son through smoke and I swear to you that it looked like a real person running through that smoke. It was breathtaking. I have to say that DreamWorks is giving Pixar a run for their money when it comes to animation.

    We were both concerned that we wouldn’t really like Hiccup, the main character when the movie started however that worry went away quickly. I was laughing out loud within the first 3 minutes of the movie and I knew then and there that I will need to own this movie the second it comes out on DVD. I am already trying to think of whom-else I can tag along with to see this movie a second time. I can’t remember the last time I wanted to see a movie more than once, especially as soon as the credits rolled. This was the most enjoyable movie I have seen in ages. Sure I loved Up! (when we finally got to see it on DVD last month) but it made me cry a lot and was more dramatic than this movie was, but HtTYD is sheer funny from start to finish, with a little scary thrown in near the end for good measure (which didn’t seem to bother the rows of little kids, but *I* was scared! I’m a wuss, what can I say?).

    The different types of dragons were brilliant. The personalities of the Night Fury was priceless and I think they might have used Annie as a model for some of his behaviour and movements. Actually a few of the dragons reminded us of Annie, as did the sheep. I think DreamWorks owes us some royalties for Annie’s modeling. Hmm.

    If you have the chance to see this movie at the cinema, do it. You will laugh, you will gasp and you might tear up at some point. You will have nothing but fun for the duration of the film. And, you will also leave wanting your very own dragon and trying to figure out how you can make that happen.

    Well done, DreamWorks, well done. And thanks for having some shows in 2D so those who can’t see 3D are able to enjoy the movie as well.

    And now we’re out of gift certificate money and so we’ll have to budget in a movie if we really want to see it (aka Iron Man 2 and Harry Potter this year!). I find it sad that $100 in gift certificates, plus two Admit One certificates only resulted in 3 movies (with food) total. Yikes. Those prices are insane!

    Witch Fire

    Witch Fire
    by Anya Bast

    LibraryThing lets you give half stars, which is more than I can say this book deserves. Goodreads doesn’t let you do the half star which means I had to choose one entire star when I rated it. I could have not rated it but then people might get confused and think I liked it.

    I gave up at 100 pages. Which was the end of a chapter, thankfully. I just couldn’t read any more. 100 pages I read, 98 of which were badly written porn. I was worried right from the first page which was so heavily infused with sex and things quivering and just… ick. Ick! Ick! Ick!

    I felt dirty after I got through those 100 pages. By then my husband had come home from work and I started my rant about how horrid this book was. He did what he calls the “porn test” and opened the book to a random page and yep, sex. And then another random page and yep, more sex. You couldn’t go through a page without at least one of the following words “cock”, “mound”, “her sex”. Holy cow this book was just plain bad.

    I couldn’t even tell you the plot kept it going, or the dialogue because there really wasn’t a plot, and the dialogue was just drivel.

    It is very rare I do not finish a book. I have three books going right now that I have put aside because I just can’t get into them at the moment, but they aren’t bad enough to give up on totally. I’m just waiting for the right mood. But this one? This one was making me feel sick as I read it. It was horrid.

    I am disappointed because I discovered the series through some other blog that spoke about the latest in the series and I was all excited about a paranormal series about witches. I instantly put the entire series on my wishlist. I can tell you it’s off now. Sadly this wasn’t the only book that I gave up on out of this particular book buying spree. I guess I had bad luck that week. I guess I should learn from this mistake and stay away from the romance section and their “paranormal romances” because they seem to be mis-shelved and should be in the “really bad erotica” sections.

    Why do paranormal romances have to be 98% graphic sex scenes and 2% plot? WHY?

    Dream Life

    Dream Life
    by Lauren Mechling

    Claire Voyante’s first semester at Henry Hudson High School was eventful, to say the least. As she heads into her second semester, things are calming down a bit. But Claire has a few secrets that are getting harder to keep. Her biggest secret of all? The onyx and ivory cameo necklace her grandmother gave her for her 15th birthday. Ever since she started wearing it, her dreams have been coming to her in black and white and turning out to be oddly prophetic.

    Becca’s been hanging out with her old prep school friends and never seems to have time for Claire anymore. And soon, Claire discovers why—there’s a secret group of society girls with a mysterious identity. And, turns out, a mysterious enemy who’s out to get them. The second she sniffs out trouble, Claire jumps on the case. But is it someone close to Claire who’s in danger again—or could it be Claire herself whose life is at stake? (goodreads.com)

    I had so much fun reading Dream Girl that I was eager to start Dream Life. Sadly my own life got in the way and I wasn’t able to truly sit down and enjoy the book until now. I actually I think I enjoyed Dream Life more than the first book if that’s possible. I am in love with Claire’s sarcasm and wit and her friendship with Becca. I loved the addition of the secret society in this book and meeting the new characters that made up that group.

    I have read some reviews that stated they didn’t find this book as suspenseful as the first, and where I might slightly agree, I didn’t find that Dream Life felt any different than Dream Girl. The mystery wasn’t as sinister this time around, it was lighter but I was still dripping with curiosity as to what would happen and who was behind the pranks out to “get” the society.

    If anything I enjoyed the additional characters and lighter plot. I enjoyed the character development of Claire, Becca and Ian. I do find myself forgetting that these are only 15-year olds however. I have to remind myself they are still in high school and try to think like a teen even though I’m slightly outside of that category by er, *cough*14years*cough*. I don’t think I was ever that smart as a teen. Heck, I don’t think I’m that smart NOW.

    If a book can make me laugh, smile and just feel plain ol’ happy by the end of it (and leave me wanting MORE) it gets high ratings from me. The Dream series is up there with the Stephanie Plum and Eve Dallas series – if there are more I will buy them because they have become a new addition to my Mashed Potatoes Book series. Comfort all the way around.

    I have the lovely Lauren to thank for the book – and she even signed it!!

    This review is no way influenced by the author’s kindness. I had read and adored Dream Girl long before I received Dream Life. I have also grown to adore the author herself! Turns out we have a lot of stuff in common – including a dual Canadian-American background! I can’t wait to track her down when I’m in NYC in May and see what other stuff we have in common – obviously fantastic wit and humour of course but there could be much, much more!

    My new goal? Track down Dream Girl in hardcover in the bargain book section of bookstores. I know I bought it when it came out in paperback, but now I have one soft-cover and one hard cover book. That just isn’t right!! My bookshelf shares my OCD when it comes to books looking alike. I cannot let it suffer with these two opposite editions. Gah!

    attack of the croooooooooows!

    I have had all the blinds pulled this afternoon due to a migraine and it’s just that kind of glare outside that kills me the most. But I was opening the back blinds to let some light in when Jinx noticed this huge crow staring into our living room from the wires outside. Jinx did not approve. I wasn’t about to let him out since I knew he’d just bark at it and frankly, I’m scared of crows. They are evil.

    That’s when I noticed there were about 50 billion crows in the back yard and surroundings. Gah! So I let Jinx out to defend our home. Take that, crows!

    These ones are SMALL. There are rooster-sized ones hovering around as well. But they must be camera shy because they fly away as soon as I try to snap their photo. Probably afraid I’ll capture their evil souls.

    Jinx was quite concerned about the crows in his yard. Not quite as bad as squirrels, but even the squirrels know better than to stick around with the evil crows.

    The yard is crow-free, however they are still up on the electric wires and in the trees.

    Right before they settled in these trees they all flew up from the yard below (not mine) and it was SO LOUD – and that was just their wings! *shudder*

    The one good thing about all these crows? I got this awesome shot of my Winxy Jinx!

    (You can click some of these to enlarge – like if you want to see the billions of crows up close)